Realm Of Randomness

May 19, 2007

The Luck-ness Monster

Filed under: Philosophy,Rant,Religion — Randomizer @ 7:21 pm

Continuing with my posts related to belief systems, there is one belief system that I just couldn’t resist talking about, because though most of us almost immediately proclaim our disbelief in this particular ideology, a good portion of us secretly do harbour at least a certain amount of inherent faith in it – what I speak of here, is plain Luck.

And by Luck, I don’t mean ‘chance’. I mean the Luck that is implied in the sentence, ‘My Luck is bad this year’, which tends to mean that a certain force is working for or against you in your everyday life.

Picture yourself in the following scene: This is your big day, a big interview or a final exam. On your way though, a beggar comes by and asks you for some money. Will you give him some, or will you not ? On top of that what if he says, ‘If you help me today, great things will happen to you’ ? Are you more likely to succumb to this, especially now on your big day ? I won’t be surprised if 80-90% of us would hand him some change for ‘good luck’.

I would expect most people to be ‘extra nice’ and do ‘extra lucky’ things on big days like these – wear a ‘lucky pair of socks’, donate money to a charity , and so on. In some way or the other, we all believe in Luck, even for a second or two.

While Atheists believing in Luck is comparitively OK , since it does not conflict with religion, I find many, many religious people believing in Luck as well ! It seems like a different belief system is invoked for each event in their life, and this is, to put it bluntly, pretty stupid. What is the role of God when ‘Luck’ is doing things for you, or working against you ? What is the role of a ‘lucky shirt’ in the context of God ? If one is religious – stick to prayers, and leave Luck alone.

I have a confession to make about one of my own such rituals. I had a cream-colored shirt for many years, that I considered lucky because it was the shirt I had worn on my first successful job interview. Wearing it for big interviews made me secretly feel ‘secure’ – and I found nothing wrong with secretly harbouring this prize, as it made me feel more confident. But when the shirt could no longer be worn due to wear and tear, I felt myself feeling like I was going for a battle with no armour ! The *blue* shirt ? What good has the blue shirt ever done me ?

But for perhaps one of the first times in life, I’m feeling confident about living my life completely free of everything Supernatural. All I have is the real world, and I need nothing more.

I think we are more sensitive to avoiding BAD luck than we are to promoting GOOD luck. Take Horoscopes for example. As long as they tell you something nice or vague about your day, or something in general about incidents to occur, you are okay with them. Not too long ago, I read a horoscope that read , ‘This is not a good day for business deals. Postpone them’. Such horoscopes can be pretty damaging to one’s confidence, to be frank. This tendency to avoid bad luck is the very reason that people immediately forward mails that read ‘if you don’t forward this to 10 people, you will die’.

Here was the horoscope for Leo yesterday. I honestly hope people don’t follow advice such as the following:

While I will leave more of my thoughts on Astrology for a rainy day with writer’s block, I must say that I find it extremely disappointing that probably ALL Hindu arranged marriages , even today, classmates and like-minded educated young men and women, refer to star signs and sun signs to decide if their marriage is going to work or not. When the most revered role models of India like Aishwarya Rai marry trees to avoid bad luck, I do not know if India will ever move on from it’s superstitious roots…

… but one thing we can all do right now, is to start looking at all these small rituals we carry out on those big days of ours, and liberate ourselves from this ominous Luck-ness Monster. It is indeed high time that we see our ‘lucky shirt’ for exactly what it is and has always been – a piece of fabric.

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